Re: "Last-minute" vs. "anticipatory" quantum immortality

From: Jesse Mazer <>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 22:11:04 -0500

Wei Dai wrote:

>On Wed, Nov 12, 2003 at 04:34:27AM -0500, Jesse Mazer wrote:
> > Applied to quantum immortality, this "anticipatory" idea suggests it
> > not be as if the universe is allowing events to go any which way right
> > until something is about to kill me, and then it steps in with some
> > miraculous coincidence which saves me; instead, it would be more like
> > universe would constantly be nudging the my first-person probabilities
> > favor of branches where I don't face any dangerous accidents which
> > "miracles" in the first place. Of course since this would just be a
> > probabilistic effect, I might still occasionally face accidents where I
> > to be very lucky to survive, but the lower the probability there is of
> > surviving a particular type of accident, the less likely I am to
> > events leading up to such an accident.
>If you believe this, would you treat terminally ill people as zombies,
>since their consciousness should already have been "nudged" away from this
>branch? What do you do when they protest that they are in fact not zombies?

Of course not, no more than I would treat the copy who materialized in a
room with the portrait of the candidate who went on to lose the election as
a zombie. From the point of view of myself about to be duplicated, it was
certainly be much more probable that my next experience would be of finding
myself in the room with the portrait of the candidate who would go on to win
(since after the election that copy would be duplicated 999 times while the
other would not), but the probability of ending up in the room with the
losing candidate was not zero, and after the split it is certainly true that
both copies are equally conscious.

Your question is a bit like asking, since I don't think it's very likely
that I will win the lottery today, can I treat the lottery winner as a

Jesse Mazer

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Received on Wed Nov 12 2003 - 22:12:54 PST

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